A Russian racing yacht that never made it into America's Cup competition may be saved from the landfill by a British yachtsman who shelled out $1 for it.
The Russian effort fizzled, and the 75-foot racing sloop never saw the America's Cup races in San Diego. But the yacht made a splash with media reports that it was headed for destruction at a San Diego dump unless a savior was found.
Leonard Gulson may be the man. He wants the unfinished yacht as a high-performance sailing cruiser, said John Knight, president of Knight & Carver boat yard, which houses the sloop.
Gulson has deposited a $1 check with Knight & Carver to keep the 25-ton yacht from becoming junk. The boatyard took possession of the yacht when the Age of Russia team returned home, leaving unpaid bills behind.
The dollar is just the beginning. The boat likely will cost at least another $200,000, and perhaps $1 million or more, to finish, Knight said.
The boat has a hull, a deck, a mast and steering gear but still needs interior work, deck hardware and rigging. Knight said he hopes that his boatyard will do the work.
"I would like to have jobs for my men so that we get some benefit," he said. "We've done all of this for nothing so far."
There's still a catch, however. The boatyard has paid a $25,000 refundable import bond to the U.S. Customs Service that required the boat be used only for racing, then exported or destroyed within a year.
Knight hopes to get around the customs limitation by taking the boat outside U.S. territorial waters to satisfy the bond requirements and get his money back, then re-import it. He would then pay for a temporary import bond allowing him to repair the yacht.